Yardstick Software Inc.

2009 Finalist: Outstanding Commercial Achievement in Alberta Science and Technology (Sales less than 25 million)

Company Revolutionizes Online Training And Testing

At Yardstick Software Inc. every client is considered a partner, from running the program to delivery of product to revenue sharing. Yardstick Software is a privately owned, customer-focused company that provides online testing and training primarily to licensing bodies. In its business model, the company gets a percentage of the licenses the licenser sells, unlike other companies that sell software packages to licensers and then continue to charge for additional requirements.

“We have 225 clients,” says Chris LaBossiere, co-founder and VP Business Development of Yardstick Software, the only company in Canada that specializes in licensing exam delivery. “Everyone has the same objective and everyone celebrates in our growth.”

Yardstick Software provides online testing and training to over 400,000 individual users across dozens of industries. It has 13 full-time employees and in 2008, it reported $3 million in revenues. The company has designed several products to enhance functionality of its clients’ websites.

The Yardstick Software web application is designed to revolutionize the way organizations use the internet to deliver training and testing to their users.
ProTraining.com and ProExams.com are full-service multi-faceted divisions within the company that offer instructional design, training object development, psychometric services, and exam center access.
Yardstick Measure and Yardstick Inform are 100-per cent proprietary applications that are the backbone of the company. The fully hosted, internet-based application gives each customer the benefit of a world-class product and infrastructure.

Yardstick Software’s system allows clients to customize the look and feel of their websites and a built-in e-commerce function gives them the tools they need to administer, track, process, and report their sales. The company continues to invest in developing new product lines, which accounts for 50 per cent of its costs.

“The new products allow us to accelerate our growth and offer diversification in our revenue streams,” explains Mr. LaBossiere. “The most exciting thing about this company is that we have gone into areas we never expected to. Each product has evolved to allow us to provide services we didn’t even envision five years ago.” Yardstick Software is still in growth mode, continuously adding functionality to its system and looking to grow to become a $50- to $100-million company.

“It’s all about reinvesting and scaling to become truly global,” Mr. LaBossiere explains. He says the company’s software and hosted server infrastructure can easily accommodate significant incremental global expansion.
Indeed, Yardstick Software is seeking new geographical markets and is enlisting resellers to sell its applications in Europe and Asia. It is also increasing its presence in the United States.

“In the next five- to 10 years, we will expand on the foundation we have today,” Mr. LaBossiere says. He maintains that even with global expansion, Yardstick Software will remain an Alberta company.
“We’re proud to be a successful technology company in Alberta and this is where we will stay.”